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A ‘Swades’ Script in Making – Skill mapping of Overseas Returnees

skill mapping of overseas returnees

It is one thing that India addressed the concerns of Indians living abroad by providing them an opportunity to back home in the troubling times through Vande Bharat Mission. However, the Indian government has not stopped itself. Most people who are returning from the overseas are doing so because they have lost their jobs, thanks to the economic situation that pandemic has created.  India is now mapping their skill-sets so that their skills may be used to build the post-COVID India so that these returnees also get employment opportunities within India.

Meanwhile, the Civil Aviation Minister apprised citizens about the status of Vande Bharat Mission in this tweet.


The initiative has been aptly named as SWADES (Skilled Workers Arrival Database for Employment Support). The returning people from overseas are apprised about the skill card form they may fill. In-flight announcements are being made by Air India and Air Indian Express that are operating flights under the Vande Bharat Mission. Airport Authority of India and other private airports have also put up banners/standees and digital signages to ensure that all migrants returning from abroad are informed about this initiative.

An online form available on www.nsdcindia.org/swades has been created. The form contains the details such as details related to the work sector, job title, employment, years of experience.

The collected information will be shared with companies for suitable placement opportunities in the country. The Ministry of Skill Development & Entrepreneurship is the implementing agency that is facilitating the process, and will hold discussions with various stakeholders such as state governments, industry associations and employers to take this forward.

How This Can Help India

As per the data gathered so far, the top countries from where the citizens are returning are UAE, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. As per the skill mapping, these citizens had been primarily employed in sectors such as oil & gas, construction, tourism & hospitality, Automotive and Aviation.

One may argue that the tourism and hospitality industry may take time to get back to the tracks. Nevertheless, look at the recent reform measures and some of the roadmaps India already announced. India is committed to invest massively on infrastructure in the years to come, which obviously provides opportunities in construction sector. The recent reform measures aimed at making India a global destination for Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) in aviation sector provide scope for private participation in maintaining the airports. There may be talented individuals among overseas returnees who have skill-sets in these domains that the private sector would like to utilize.

Lakhs of citizens have registered at the various Indian missions requesting to return to the country and so far, more than 57,000 people have already returned to the country. The online SWADES Skill form was made live on 30th May 2020 and has garnered around 7,000 registrations till 3rd June 2020.